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August 31, 2021

Practicing mindfulness throughout the recovery process and beyond

Mindfulness helps you to be mentally aware of your surrounding and be present in the moment. It means acknowledging and accepting your feelings, thoughts, and physical sensations. It involves learning and nurturing cognitive and behavioral skills. Practicing mindfulness can help to achieve internal peace and teach gratitude.

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August 31, 2021

Skills that you can learn from mindfulness include identifying emotions, observation, and non-judgment. Others include effective communication, grounding techniques, and active participation. Mindfulness teaches you to accept intrusive thoughts, painful emotions, and anxiety rather than trying to avoid or escape them. Accepting unpleasant and painful experiences helps you to realize they are tolerable and not permanent.

The Role of Mindfulness in the Recovery Process

Mindfulness can help people in addiction recovery relieve stress and anxiety, reduce the effects of withdrawal, and act as a coping mechanism. It can also help break the occurrence of negative thoughts and prevent drug relapse.

Mindfulness is deliberate, and a person needs to be fully aware of what they are going through. It is also non-judgmental and tolerating meaning a person needs to accept themselves to achieve real mind awareness. Mindfulness encourages compassion which is crucial in addiction recovery since it helps you connect with people. It enables you to see your situation and become more accepting of your self-image.

Practicing mindfulness helps you to learn to relax during the addiction recovery process. Stress can lead to cravings, anxiety, and physical pain and causes us to be irritable. When you practice mindfulness, you can intentionally relax your mind and prevent stress from creeping in.

Substance abuse can cause mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. Practicing mindfulness can help to relieve symptoms of depression and reduce the risk of relapse. It also helps you to respond rather than react. Addiction leads to conditioned responses to stimuli associated with drugs and alcohol. Mindfulness helps you to process things through and feel less threatened by things around you.

Mindfulness Practices and Techniques for the Recovery Process

There are various techniques for mindfulness that you can use in your daily life. Some techniques are mental, while others are physical. You can practice these techniques anywhere anytime, and you only need to be willing to try new things. Here are five mindfulness-based techniques.

Body and Breathe Awareness

Stress can lead to negative thoughts that can deter the recovery process. There are numerous external things that we cannot control, and obsessing over them can overwhelm you leading to stress. You can focus on something you can control and use your body’s natural healing ability to manage stress. Focusing on your breath can help to calm your mind and bring a sense of control.

You can start by taking small breathing breaks throughout the day. Take deep breaths through your nostrils and breathe out through the mouth. Ensure you take time while breathing out so you can feel all the air exiting your body and the calm sensation in your mind. You can close your eyes while doing this technique and even count to five to ensure you focus on your body.

Self-reflection

Self-observation and reflection allow us to notice and accept our experiences. When we delay our response after a stimulus, we notice things and patterns of emotions, thoughts, and feelings. It also allows us to be present at the moment and cope with reality. You can start by paying attention to everything happening around you, both big and small. It can include listening to the person speaking to you or feeling the food texture in your mouth.

Compassion

Compassion for yourself and others can help to connect with people and experience happiness and tranquility. Addiction can limit your ability to connect with your own emotions and those of others. Compassion can help to build strong and healthy relationships and connect with emotions. It reminds us that we deserve love and other people have hopes and dreams just like us.

Acceptance

Acceptance involves going through experiences without judging ourselves, especially with thoughts and feelings.  We can become more resilient when we accept all of our feelings, including fear, strength, sorrow, relief, or discomfort. It also helps to recognize thoughts as just thoughts and letting go of harmful ideas. During addiction, it is easy to confuse thoughts and reality, leaving you prone to unfounded beliefs. When you identify damaging thoughts, you can let go of them and see yourself in a more accurate light.

Practice Being Still

Multi-tasking and overworking can prevent you from discovering your personal truths that give your life purpose. Stillness allows you to focus on your feelings and thoughts by reducing distractions. You can do this through yoga or alone moments that promote a sense of inner stillness. Stillness helps you renew your spirit and open your mind to your unlimited potential.

Practicing mindfulness is a skill that requires a little practice to master. Other physical activities you can practice include meditation, stretching, and body scan. You can seek help from an expert to help you through the entire process.

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